Lawsuit filed challenging San Francisco’s new Central SoMa zoning plan

A nonprofit housing group has filed the first of what is expected to be several lawsuits challenging the rezoning of San Francisco’s Central South of Market area, suits that could significantly delay the development of more than 6 million square feet of office space and thousands of housing units.

In the lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court on Monday, the Yerba Buena Neighborhood Consortium, the legal arm of the affordable housing group Todco, argues that the plan’s environmental study was inadequate because it didn’t take into account the impact the neighborhood changes would have on public services such as police, fire and recreation…

The deadline for filing a legal challenge to the plan’s environmental study is Thursday, and as many as three other lawsuits could be coming…

Even if there were no lawsuits, the realities of the time required for approvals and permitting in San Francisco means it’s unlikely that any construction would start before 2020. Elberling added that delays beyond that could be avoided if the city agrees to community demands.

“It’s up to the city. If the city wanted to work with us and address the problems, it would be finished this year,” he said. “If we resolve the problems this year, we could drop our lawsuit.”… (more)

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In 2018, San Francisco made choices. In 2019, we’ll deal with them.

By Joe Eskenazi : missionlocal – excerpt

It’s difficult to come up with a valediction for 2018, an overstuffed year that was to San Francisco political developments what Buca di Beppo is to portion size and sensible interior decor.

n short, there was so much loaded onto our plates that, by the time we were halfway through with one course, we’d forgotten what came only just before. There was just too much to get through; it left us all feeling a bit sick…

We made our decisions. In the coming year, for good or ill, we will live with them…

The board of supervisors likely hasn’t had this much potential leverage and power since 2001, following a progressive sweep of Mayor Willie Brown’s handpicked slate. It remains to be seen how this board will govern and what issues our legislators will take up, but this much seems clear — a majority of them owe Mayor Breed nothing…(more)

Industry experts and SF notables reveal which neighborhoods they broke up with in 2018

By : sfcurbed – excerpt

Canceled?

There’s much to love about San Francisco—and much to loathe. And to confuse neighborhood ire and frustration with flippant snark would be a disservice to our readers and to the city we adore so deeply. Which is why we’ve asked our handful of industry experts and local notables to thoughtfully weigh in on the areas of San Francisco they had enough of in 2018… (more)

Not many neighborhoods are spared from distain. Most of the least popular are south of Market with SOMA and Market Street leading the pack. Interesting to note that the least appreciated are the ones with the most construction and the worst traffic. Of course the idea that you could even stem the tide of traffic accessing the multi-billion dollar Bay Bridge was always a farce. Until it falls down, it will be the route of choice for connecting the populace to the city. Until the city authorities establish a fast and easy parking process for people driving across that bridge, they will drive across town or whatever it takes to park.

We know that the cost are prohibitive. What isn’t?  Our regional MTC and other agencies would rather spend the billions of a new headquarters than help people park to get out of the their cars faster once they arrive. This kind of backward thinking makes SOMA and other points near the bay bridge hostage in the game of traffic control.

 

SF to developer who tore down landmark house: Rebuild it exactly as it was

By : sfchronicle – excerpt

A property owner who illegally demolished a 1936 Twin Peaks house designed by a renowned modernist must rebuild an exact replica of the home rather than the much larger structure the property owner had proposed replacing it with, the City Planning Commission ruled this week.

In a unanimous 5-0 vote late Thursday night, the commission also ordered that the property owner — Ross Johnston, through his 49 Hopkins LLC — include a sidewalk plaque telling the story of the original house designed by architect Richard Neutra, the demolition and the replica…

The case attracted attention because Neutra is considered one of the most important modern architects and because it highlighted the trend of speculators illegally razing modest homes with the intention of replacing them with mega-homes…

The decision comes a few days after Supervisor Aaron Peskin introduced legislation designed to crack down on illegal demolitions. That bill, the Housing Preservation and Expansion Reform Act, increases fines for illegal demolitions and requires a conditional use authorization for any home expansion that increases the square footage by more than 10 percent.

Peskin said that he was “very impressed” by the Planning Commission’s vote.

“The fact that it was a unanimous vote should send a message to everyone that is playing fast and loose that the game is over,” said Peskin… (more)

RELATED:
Man Who Demolished Landmark House Ordered to Build Replica (with images)

SF keeps losing affordable housing

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Plus: The future of a municipal bank, Free City College forever .. and look at which public officials are supporting the Yimbys. That’s The Agenda for Dec. 9-16

The latest Housing Balance Report comes before the Board of Supes Land Use and Transportation Committee Monday/10 and the news is as bleak as ever: In the past ten years, San Francisco has built 6,577 affordable housing units – and lost 4,263, mostly to evictions and Tenancy in Common conversions.

That means every time the city creates two affordable units, it loses one…

The report, which you can read here, is just the latest evidence of the failure of city housing policy. San Francisco is, of course, limited by state law – the city can’t ban Ellis Act evictions or impose rent controls on vacant apartments. Instead of fighting to change those things, our state legislators are pushing to mandate more market-rate housing… (more)

Trauss Trounced in YIMBY Litmus Test

By Ida Mojadad : sfweekly – excerpt

“If you want to build a movement, you have to include everyone,” said Matt Haney, who overwhelmingly won the seat of District 6 supervisor, of YIMBYs.

Sonja Trauss, the face of the YIMBY Action, handily lost the election to become District 6 supervisors on Tuesday after more than a year of vying to enact aggressive pro-development policies in City Hall.

Despite what some political insiders surmised at the establishment-heavy John’s Grill Election Day luncheon, Trauss did not win in a squeaker — far from it. With full-throated support from her fellow YIMBYs for more than a year of her campaign, Trauss captured just over 2,500 votes, or nearly 18 percent as of Wednesday afternoon….

Until the sentiment that YIMBYs are of the people, by the people takes hold in District 6, Trauss ought not to be so surprised by the abysmal results.. (more)

Community groups call for affordable housing at site of 2015 fatal fire

By Michael Toren : sfexaminer – excerpt (includes video)

Community leaders and a city supervisor gathered Friday morning in the Mission District to protest plans to build a nine-story condominium building on the site of a building destroyed in a fatal fire.

The lot at 22nd and Mission streets has been vacant since a four-alarm fire tore through a large, three-story mixed-use building there in January 2015, killing one resident and displacing some 60 others. That building was later demolished, leaving a fenced-off hole in the ground which can still be seen today… (more)

Canceled meeting on ‘Monster in the Mission’ development sparks dueling rallies

By Laura Waxmann : sfexaminer – excerpt

The sudden cancellation of a public hearing on a proposed 331-unit housing development at 1979 Mission St. laid bare deep divisions within the community over the project, despite recent revisions.

Plans for the development at the 16th and Mission Street Bart Plaza were first submitted by developer Maximus Real Estate Partners in 2013. From the onset they were challenged over their lack of affordability by community groups united as the Plaza 16 Coalition, who dubbed the project the “Monster in the Mission.”

Last year, the coalition asked the Planning Commission to hold a hearing on the project in the Mission District, so that community members could weigh in. But that meeting’s cancellation this week sparked two competing rallies Thursday — one led by Plaza 16, calling on the developer to provide a 100 percent affordable project, and the other organized by the Maximus-funded group Mission for All, aimed at moving the project forward as is… (more)